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Architecture is not necessarily…

23 Mar

… synonymous with austerity, even when you practice a relatively restrained classicism. At least, there may be some discrepancy between your architectural aesthetics:

Paris' Pantheon by Jacques-Germain Soufflot

… and your sartorial choices:

Floral Madness

I want to thank E. from Academichic, who offered this embroidery bonanza as a reference of the extreme variability of the (gendered) meaning we assign to such and such aspect of our clothing.

A strong modernism…

9 Mar

… may no longer be a sign of a healthy society. It has been once the clearest symptom of confidence in our own values, in so far as they were projected towards a future under construction. But I fear it turns out to be now a kind of innocent passeism, a nostalgia for long gone utopias when the good life was to be sought for in Eames, Saarinen or Koenig’s architecture. It was about reading books from Salinger or Kerouac, listening to records from Coltrane, and the technological revolution was happening.

Case Study #22, Stahl House By Pierre Koenig.

In this Paris shipwreck of a fashion week, there was an insistent trend to provide the clothes to match this aesthetics and way of life. To wit: structure first, texture being just a support to it. Sculptural strength out of simplicity. Honesty. Future.

Costume National

Giambattista Valli

Case Study #8, Eames House by Ray and Charles Eames.




Richard Neutra's Kauffman House.


Costume National

Print it

27 Jan

Suzie Bubble, whose knowledge of avant-garde fashion I find humbling, told us about Iris Van Herpen, a dutch designer using 3D printing for fashion experiments. Visually convincing results, I cry:

The Delicate Geometry of Rococo

And guess what? Aside being dutch, which is good, of course, he also works with an architect, and there is an ongoing collaboration with United Nude. Is architecture the new black in fashion?

In the meantime, Pauline Van Dongen (yet another dutch designer) used the same process to the effect of some wonderfully looking, insanely expansive, although dubiously wearable shoes (the polymer is stiff):

Just out of the printer

The price tag is vertically dropping for 3D prints, but still… Would you put $5000 for them?

Furniture heels

26 Jan

It’s a painful confession, but I’ve been watching lately the first season of the FN Shoe Star. I blame the Manolo for this. Even if there’s undeniable talent in the candidates, I just have a hard time bearing the cheap drama oozing from this ‘unforgiving competition’ stuff. When we will finally reinvent the Roman circus games, I’m sure will innovate. We’ll get close-up on the eyes of the son of the guy dying in the arena. I’m expecting great shows.

Anyway, that’s not really my point. Last year, the girl ending third in the competition went overboard when trying to convey what inspiration she could gather from the French Decorative Arts gallery of NY’s Metropolitan Museum.

Epic. Fail.

The shoe was horrendous, and especially the heel, which tried to translate something of the furniture feet. But the poor girl may have pleaded for extenuating circumstances: the challenge is too tough for a rookie, even seasoned designers have struggle hard.

Evidence #1. United Nude EAMZ.

I have the greatest respect for Koolhaas and Clark, in particular because the former is a world class architect, the work of which I find at times extraordinary, often really good, and always interesting. I’m bound to post more about UN shoes, which are good indeed. Here are their Eamz:

United Nude's Eamz

This particular design caught my eye when I first saw it in a shop in Antwerpen, but I never really loved it no matter how hard I tried. For I really wanted to love these shoes. I mean, the idea is brilliant: they are meant as an homage to the classic 60s furniture designer Charles and Ray Eames. I’m seriously biased towards such referential design. That’s what high doses of philosophy does to you I guess. But it just doesn’t really work.

Now I was musing in the neighborhood this morning, and guess what I find in the Style Bubble?

Evidence #2. Tyake Tyoke shoes.

Now there is something seriously wrong with these. Susie Bubble says she has doubts, but then she’s such a nice person. I say: n.o. .w.a.y.

One of the reasons I see behind the not-so-great-ness of these shoes is the inevitable kitsch of a figurative representation of what inspires you. Imagine Messiaen putting actual recorded bird singing in his Réveil des oiseaux


I have another theory one the subject, which is good, of course. But I’ll post that later. It has to do with static vs. dynamic. Stay tuned.

And you, did you ever saw convincing furniture citation in a pair of shoes?


24 Jan

Under the moon, as Aristotle would have it, things are quite messy. Or to be more precise, the sublunar world is more often than not a f*cking muckhole. But we are blessed with an ability to contemplate pure form, in its visual guise: we do geometry.

Do I care? I hear you murmur. Of course you do! Because geometry is one of the feeding breasts of fashion. An important part of my deranged brain is a total sucker for silhouettes with a firm geometrical control. Which is good, of course.

Watch this:

As beautiful as a theorem

What do you think? Frolic baroquism or supralunar clarity of the line?